MXA PRODUCT TEST: Rinaldi RMX35 Rear Tire

February 12, 2009
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WHAT IS IT? The latest in a long line of tires from Brazil.

WHAT’S IT COST? $67 (rear), $54 (front)?(909) 608-0082.

WHAT’S IT DO? We know that you’ve heard of Dunlop, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Maxxis, Kenda and Michelin. What about Rinaldi? Rinaldi is a Brazilian tire company that has been in the tire business since 1969. Now you might think that a Brazilian motocross tire is an oddity?not so. Goodyear, Continental, Pirelli, Metzeler, Bridgestone and Michelin all own tire factories in Brazil. Rinaldi, for their part, manufactures 180,000 tires a month (or two million a year). Part of the reason that Rinaldi is largely unknown in the USA is because all its U.S. distributors are by direct import only. What does that mean? There are no middle men. Thanks to Rinaldi’s labor force, access to raw materials and the growing South American motorcycle market, the price of a Brazilian tire is much less than that of a European or Japanese product–which is why so many tire manufacturers have invested in Brazilian plants. Rinaldi also had one other trick up its sleeve; they hired Pirelli’s chief engineer.

ÿÿ The MXA test crew has raced with Rinaldi tires before (back in 2004). Amazingly, the retail price of the Rinaldi RMX33 Winner tires that we tested four years ago is the same as the all-new Rinaldi RMX35’s that we are testing in this issue. Talk about price controls!

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Rinaldi RMX35 rear tire.

ÿÿ (1) Tread Pattern. Although an intermediate tire by design, the RMX35 has some hardpack prowess. When choosing tires, most MXA test riders are willing to sacrifice a bit of performance in loam in order to hook up on the hardpacked sections.

ÿÿ (2) Durability. The RMX35 rubber compound doesn’t show much wear, aside from a chunking problem. The tread wears so well that it’s almost difficult to tell whether it’s been ridden on. No surprise; when we tested the RMX33 Winner model four years ago, we could not wear it out.

ÿÿ (3) Performance. When testing a product that is considerably less expensive than the high-priced spread, test riders tend to use a sliding scale on performance?one where price is factored in to overall rating. But the Rinaldi was surprising. We didn’t have to slide the scale very much for its low cost. Why not? Because in the dirt it was designed for (intermediate soil), the Rinaldi mimicked the predictable feel of the Dunlop 756 that we were using as a control sample. This was an acceptable tire at any price and a very good tire at its actual price. It should be noted that as the terrain got harder, the performance window tilted towards the 756.

ÿÿ (4) Value. The RMX35 is inexpensive, but not cheap. That said, even if the Rinaldi wore out quickly, it would still be a good tire for the price. Factor in longevity and the Rinaldi is a very smart buy. For the blue collar racer who doesn’t want to break the bank, the Rinaldi could be the go-to tire.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Chunking. During our testing we raced on a variety of terrain, and when we used the Rinaldi on hardpack tracks, we noticed chunking from the braking edges of the knobs. We weren’t throwing knobs off the carcass, just chiseling the edges.

If price is a driving factor in your choice of tires, the Rinaldi is a four-star tire. For the performance-minded racer, it rates three-stars (largely because of the chunking on the hard patches). All in all, Rinaldi is on the right track to building a great line of tires.


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